New trams on track for 2025 roll-out

Yarra Trams chief executive Julien Dehornoy, Department of Transport modal planning executive director Naomi Langdon, Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll, Department of Transport chief accessibility advocate Tricia Malowney and Footscray MP Katie Hall welcomed the announcement of 150 Next Generation Trams coming to the west. (Star Weekly) 301250_01

By Matthew Sims

Tram users across the broader west would soon be the first to access the next generation of the city’s trams.

Routes 57, 59 and 82 would be the first to welcome the new low-floor Next Generation Trams [NGTs] across services including Footscray and Maribyrnong.

The NGTs would progressively replace Melbourne’s longest-serving high-floor trams from 2025, providing improved access for people with mobility needs and those travelling with prams, as well as extra space for up to 150 passengers and additional doors.

Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said the $1.85 billion investment from the state government to build 100 new trams and a new tram maintenance and stabling facility in Maidstone was the biggest investment in Melbourne’s tram network in decades.

“We know Melbourne’s western suburbs are changing,” he said.

“The great thing about these Next Generation Trams is that they’re going to require less power, have a modern braking system and be fully accessible for people of all abilities.”

Construction on the new Maidstone facility has been scheduled to start in 2023, with the project creating 280 jobs during construction, ongoing maintenance and across the supply chain.

Footscray MP Katie Hall said new trams in Melbourne’s west would provide important connections across Maribyrnong.

“We’re delivering more trams to the west adding to our iconic tram network while paving the way to a future for a more modern, accessible and reliable tram network.”

“The upgrades will happen at the same time that we’re opening the new Footscray hospital, the Metro Tunnel will open, the West Gate Tunnel will open.

“All in 2025, so it’s really exciting.”

Department of Transport chief accessibility advocate Tricia Malowney said it was “exciting” to see the new trams and see their accessibility features.

“They’ll be accessible for me and my whole community,” she said.

“As an old Footscray girl, I love to see the regeneration that this is going to bring to the area.”

Yarra Trams chief executive Julien Dehornoy said with additional capacity, the new trams would be a “big game-changer” for the west’s public transport system.